September 5, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for John 13-15
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Context: Before celebrating the Passover Feast, Jesus, to the extreme surprise of His disciples, washes their feet. This is a dirty job traditionally reserved for a servant, a low-ranking one. Jesus was showing that we are to serve and not become proud. Today, we have the benefit of hindsight; we know how this story is going to unfold. The disciples did not and were throughly confused by Jesus’ cryptic messages about His forth-coming death and betrayal. John even admits to disciples lack of understanding! In the midst of Jesus’ dire warning and predictions, He offers hope to the disciples, explaining events that are to come and why they do not need to worry. He also assures them that after He is gone, they will not be alone. The Father loves them. His love is reflected in His Son, Jesus Christ. We are to live in that love, and share it with others. Jesus also warns the disciples that the path will not always be easy. The truth in the Gospel will convict people, who would often prefer to shoot the messenger than address their problems and change.
World History: Imagine walking all day in sandals, or your bare feet, on hot dusty roads or trails. Your feet are probably not in great shape, especially if you do it regularly! When you retire for the evening, your feet probably smell and are caked with dust. As you can imagine, cleaning other people’s dirty, stinky feet was not a job most were fighting over. Jesus’ uses this to demonstrate His love for His disciples, love that they and we are suppose to show others. When a host breaks bread with another person, it is an act of friendship. For Judas to take the bread that Jesus broke, and then turn Him over to the pharisees, was an ultimate act betrayal.